This Week's Trailblazer Ngozi Otti - Community Leader

Women Empowerment Conference March 2015

Women Empowerment Conference March 2015

NgoziOtti is a woman with passion, vision, and big dreams. She is a wife and mother to five children, student and community development leader. Although she would prefer to say “I am just humble.”

In my opinion, Ngzoi is innovative, creative and committed to economic development and financial independence of her community members. Ngozi has partnered with organizations such as Immigrant Settlement Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS), the Department of Seniors, and Mount Saint Vincent University to host a conference on Positive Aging for Immigrants in 2014. Almost 200 people were present. This helped us to begin to thinking about what we wanted for ourselves as we aged outside of our country of birth and away from our immediate and extended families.

Ngozi is not deterred by the lack of funding for her events. She is a firm believer that “when women get together we are stronger. “ Her belief and passion were realized when as women we pooled our resources and hosted a women's development conference.  Ngozi would say she is guided by her faith and confidence in God. And her faith did not fail. During the conference, a generous philanthropist announced that he would pay for the venue on the day.

Ngozi is also the executive director of the African Community Investment Cooperative of Canada (ACICC), an unpaid position. She holds a graduate degree in international development studies and is currently focusing on community development work which she had done for over 17 years. Ngozi also worked in Bangladesh on a United Nations Development Program for three years, before returning to Canada in 2011 with her husband Mathias Gonedre. Ngozi is also pursuing further studies in social work at Dalhousie university and an Adult Education degree at Saint Francis Xavier University. Ngozi’s uniqueness lies in her vision to have a Business Incubation Centre in Nova Scotia. For several years, Ngozi has worked tirelessly without income to see her dreams and vision materialized.

Ngozi was able to acquire a building to launch the Nova Aquaponics Clinic, the first in Atlantic Canada and a Business Incubation Mode & Skill Enhancement Café. This centre is due to open one Saturday, 25 June 2016.

Ngozi and the member of the ACICC committee were able to partner with ISANS, PERENNIA, a crown corporation of Nova Scotia, the Department of Agriculture, Members of the Legislative Assembly and Councillors, as well as academic institutions such as Dalhousie university, Mount Saint Vincent University and St Francis Xavier University, to engage in the feasibility studies to grow non-traditional vegetables (eggplants, Jamaican Tea and Hot peppers) for immigrants. This is to create an emerging market for the immigrant population in Nova Scotia. The department of Agriculture has also promised land in East Preston to begin the farming initiative.  

We wish Ngozi every success in your in her ambition to see her dreams come to fruition.